Most Common Home Problems
Below are the most common home problems. Be sure to consult with your own licensed home inspector or energy star auditor for further explanations and solutions.
Mold, Mildew and Musty Odors
Water leaks are usually to blame for these issues. These leaks could be from leaky water pipes, toilets, showers, tubs, roof leaks and gutter problems. If you notice leaks for areas needing repair, it is extremely important to have those items remedied immediately to prevent structural damage and potential health issues.
High humidity caused by everyday tasks such as showers, cooking and drying clothes, can also be culprits. Indoor humidity levels should be maintained between 30%-50%.
High Energy Bills
High energy bills can usually be traced to windows, heating and cooling equipment, and insulation.
To reduce your energy costs, it's important to have your furnace and air conditioning units serviced regularly. If windows have condensation between the panes or have broken locks and seals, contact the manufacturer to see if they are still under warranty.
Primary source of damp basements are water leaks and high humidity. Again, look for water pipe leaks, as well as basement wall cracks and areas where water may be penetrating. Have these issues repaired immediately.
Common areas for cold air leaking in the home can be found around doors, windows, light fixtures, electrical outlets. The biggest leaks are usually in the attic and around recessed lighting.
Be sure to have your contractor check the air and furnace units to check for air leaks and to make sure there is a balanced airflow. In addition, caulking around window sills and door jambs will help prevent drafts.
Dust can penetrate your home through air leaks around windows, doors, and air ducts.
To reduce dust in your home change your furnace filter, and vacuum regularly. Furnace filters should be changed once a month. Be sure your clothes dryer is vented to the outside of your home. Leave shoes at the front door instead of wearing them throughout your home.
Moisture on Windows
Windows that get condensation on them, are usually a result of old windows, and single pane windows with aluminum frames.
Ignoring this issue could lead to deterioration and rotting of wooden trim, sills and framing, and could lead to mold and mildew.
Consider replacing with storm windows. If cost is an issue, you can use install a shrink film or polyethylene sheet. Window insulation kits can be purchased at your local hardware store.
These usually occur after heavy snowfalls and freezing temperatures for several days. As temperatures warm, and the snow and ice begin to melt, water begins to drain along the roof under the snow. When this water reaches the overhang, it refreezes and creates the ice dam. This can cause roof damage and could lead to water leaks.
Fixing the roof leak will not prevent future ice dams. You'll need to seal the air leaks, in the attic, and add insulation Make sure there is adequate ventilation in the attic and be sure to keep gutters free from debris throughout the year.
I hope you found this information helpful. If you'd like more information or have general real estate questions, call me at 614-755-9566. You can also visit me on-line at www.buyahomecolumbus.com